The Philippine Embassy in Singapore collaborated with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for the award-winning Pinoy pop (P-pop) band and NCCA’s youth and Sentro Rizal Ambassador, SB19, to perform in the ASEAN Gala Night on 28 November 2022 at the Orchard Hotel. This was the first in person gathering of diplomatic missions of the ASEAN Member Countries in Singapore after a two-year virtual celebration due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Organized annually, the ASEAN Gala Night aims to promote ASEAN culture and strengthen solidarity, connectivity, and integration in the region. Since 2010, it has been a tradition among the ASEAN resident missions in Singapore to cap off the ASEAN Chairmanship with a night of social gathering to showcase each country’s art, culture, and food.
SB19 brought down the house with a heartwarming performance of one of their original compositions, “MaPa”, a tribute to all mothers and fathers, who serve as guides or maps for their children. The song is likewise a fitting tribute to overseas Filipinos who work hard to provide for their families back in the Philippines.
Also prominently featured at the Philippine booth were two northern handwoven textiles: inabel and the weave from the Itneg Ilaud indigenous people. Inabel adorned the table where Filipino favorite dishes, pancit palabok, chicken adobo, and taho were served.
The mannequins were donned in itneg weaves from Kathabi – a dance theatre collaboration among the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines, and the Revival Dye Cooperative, culminating in a dance theatre performance adapted from the Itneg’s folktales about the origins of weaving. Katha means to create and Habi means to weave.
The event’s guest of honor was Mr. Albert Chua, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore. Other guests included representatives from the embassies of the ASEAN dialogue partners (Australia, Canada, China, EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia, and the US), sectoral dialogue partner (Turkey), and development partners (Chile and Germany) of ASEAN.